Overview of Australia’s aid program to the Marshall Islands
2013/14 Estimated Outcome: $4.0 million
2014/15 Budget Estimate: $4.5 million
Australia and the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) enjoy a close bilateral relationship supported by shared regional interests, particularly ensuring maritime and transnational security, sustainable management of fisheries and a common interest in supporting economic and human development. RMI is a vulnerable small island state. Two-thirds of the country’s population is concentrated on Majuro and Kwajalein Atolls. Many of the Marshall Islands’ people live in poverty, have poor health, and cannot access services such as safe water and energy supplies. As a regional neighbour, Australia is well-placed to work closely with the Marshall Islands Government to improve the development of the country.
While Millennium Development Goal (MDG) data for the country is very inconsistent and often outdated, recent estimates suggest that the Marshall Islands is currently on track to achieve targets only for MDG 3 (Promote Gender Equality and Empower Women) and MDG 6 (Combat HIV/AIDS, Malaria and Other Diseases).
Through the Australia-RMI Partnership for Development the two countries work together to support the Marshall Islands’ development, especially in areas where help is most needed. The Partnership commits the Marshall Islands to provide sound laws, policies and public services for its citizens, and to effectively and transparently manage development resources. It commits Australia to better target our aid, give good technical advice and to work closely with the Marshall Islands Government to deliver assistance.
Affordable, accessible and sustainable energy
Australia supports RMI’s government to improve energy efficiency and shift reliance away from oil and move towards greater use of affordable renewable energy sources. These efforts will support RMI to build resilience to climate change.
Increased access to clean water and sanitation
Australia is working with RMI to establish an integrated water resource management system to improve policy and programme coordination to reduce the negative health, social and economic impacts on the population.
- An Australian adviser led the renegotiation for RMI’s long-term fuel supply contract, resulting in an annual saving of an estimated $3.7 million.
- The National Water and Sanitation Policy document was adopted by Cabinet early in 2014.
- Australian funding has been used to procure 380 water tanks for households on Ebeye.